Q: If the status of my paper has been showing "Reviewer Assigned" for over 6 months what should I do?

Detailed Question -
  • Nov 22, 2018: Submitted manuscript. Status changed to Editor Assigned.
  • 3 months later, got an email saying "Editor Decision - Revise before review"
  • March 06, 2019: Sent the revised manuscript.
  • March 07, 2019: Status changed to "Revision being processed".
  • At present, the status is "Reviewers assigned."

The HELP section says: "Revisions Being Processed have been submitted to the publication and are in the peer review process. "

I am not sure about the meaning of "Reviewer assigned," and its been so for six months. I wrote to the editor four times but got no reply at all. I feel anxious and confused. What is really going on with my manuscript? What should be the next step?

1 Answer to this question

Each journal has its own status descriptions, and the meaning for a certain status can change from journal to journal. Generally speaking, “Reviewer Assigned” means that the manuscript has been assigned to a peer reviewer, that is, invitations have been sent out to peer reviewers to review your manuscript. The most common reason why a paper is stuck at this stage is that one or more reviewers may have declined the review invitation compelling the editor to look for more reviewers. The paper will not move to the next stage, that is, "Under Review" until and unless the requisite number of reviewers have accepted the review invitation. 

However, six months is a long time and since the journal is not responding to your emails, it might be advisable to consider withdrawing your paper to avoid further delay. 

Related reading:

INFOGRAPHIC: 4 Common reasons for manuscript withdrawal

PODCAST: 5 Situations in which authors withdraw their manuscript from the journal

Should I withdraw my manuscript if the Editor cannot find reviewers?

How can I get a confirmation of withdrawal from the journal?